After a person dies, others must step in to take care of their finances, look after their property and make sure their estate passes to the right beneficiaries. These responsibilities fall to the deceased person’s personal representatives: their executors or administrators. Executors are often close family members or trusted friends, named in the person’s will. Administrators are appointed where there is no executor named in the will, no executor willing to act, or there is no valid will at all.
The named executors or the proposed administrators normally need to apply for a grant of representation which is an order of the High Court confirming their authority to administer the deceased person’s estate and make distributions to their beneficiaries. In order to obtain the grant of representation, a number of tasks need to be undertaken. These include locating the will, determining assets and liabilities and gifts, obtaining valuations, preparing the necessary probate papers and dealing with the inheritance tax return and payment of inheritance tax where necessary. Once the grant has been obtained the personal representatives can proceed to collect in the assets, settle any debts, receive any income, liaise with HM Revenue & Customs to pay any tax and distribute the estate to beneficiaries as directed in the will or under the laws of intestacy.
If your family have suffered a bereavement, you have been appointed as an executor in a will, or a member of your family has died without leaving a will, please contact us for advice and assistance. Our services include: